Transferring prisoners to healing lodges to be restricted, Goodale says

The move comes after public anger that Terri-Lynne McClintic was moved to a healing lodge in Saskatchewan

Federal prisoners will have a harder time being transferred to Indigenous “healing lodges” if they’re serving long sentences, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said Wednesday.

The move comes after public anger that Terri-Lynne McClintic, convicted of murdering eight-year-old Tori Stafford, was moved to a healing lodge in Saskatchewan from a traditional prison.

McClintic was eight years into a life sentence for the abduction, rape and murder of the Ontario girl. Her first eligibility for parole won’t come until she’s served 25 years.

Under new rules announced Wednesday, prisoners won’t be eligible for transfers to healing lodges without secured perimeters until they’re into the “preparation for release” phases of their sentences.

READ MORE: Philpott defends Indigenous healing lodges amid controversy over Stafford killer

The Correctional Service of Canada will also have to consider inmates’ behaviour and how close they are to being eligible for unescorted temporary absences from prison before transferring them.

In addition, the deputy commissioner for women will be involved in decisions to ensure national standards are applied consistently and relevant factors are considered.

The changes will apply to past and future cases.

Healing lodges are meant to help with Indigenous inmates’ rehabilitation and to get them ready to return to their communities. Goodale said the government will continue to promote “their valuable role” in federal corrections.

There is also a need for the Correctional Service “to increase the level of public awareness” about how it makes decisions, Goodale told reporters.

“These are decisions that are not taken lightly or capriciously. They are based on evidence and sound principles, and there needs to be a higher level of understanding of that.”

In addition, there must be more meaningful and useful communication with victims given the anguish they have suffered, he said.

“They need to know that their perspective is being properly respected.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Dunk yourself into the musical theatre experience

Chemainus Theatre hosting a series of summer camps for student actors

Howe Sound Queen sailing toward retirement

Vessel now up for auction ends regular runs between Crofton and Vesuvius at the beginning of June

BC Ferries to pilot selling beer and wine on select routes

Drinks from select B.C. breweries and VQA wineries to be sold on Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen route

Great cast makes The Foreigner loveable and laughable

Comedy at the Chemainnus Theatre runs until May 9

Oh Susannah!

Great vocals and musical accompaniment at Pat’s House of Jazz show

‘No answers:’ Canadians react to Sri Lanka bombings that killed hundreds

The co-ordinated bomb attacks killed at least 207 people and injured 450 more on Easter Sunday

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

Most Read